The Duchess of Cambridge appeared in great spirits today as she enjoyed a game of doubles with US Open winner Emma Raducanu, after gushing that the teenage tennis sensation’s recent victory was ‘seriously impressive’.
Kate, 39, who has returned to work following her annual summer break, looked appropriately sporty in a blue tennis skirt, matching zip-up £90 tracksuit jacket from French sportswear brand Poivre Blanc and On tennis shoes, developed with Roger Federer, for the visit at the National Tennis Centre in London.
Appearing as equally ready for their match, teammate Emma, 18, who became the first British woman to win a grand slam title for 44 years when she won the US Open earlier this month, just weeks after collecting her A-level results, donned a blue T-shirt and white shorts for the outing.
Kate and Emma were teamed up for their first shots before swapping to opposite sides of the court to play with other British US Open winners, Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid, who won the men’s wheelchair doubles, and men’s doubles champion Joe Salisbury.
The royal is patron of the Lawn Tennis Association’s (LTA), which organised the homecoming event today to celebrate the success of the UK’s stars at the recent grand slam, with a thirty-minute show of the action aired on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport online.
Scroll down for video
Doubles with the Duchess! Kate Middleton met with US Open winner Emma Raducanu today and even played a match with the teenage tennis sensation
The Duchess of Cambridge wore a sporty tennis skirt for the occasion, which she wore with a zip-up jacket from French sportswear brand Poivre Blanc
Kate showed off her athletic prowess as she criss-crossed across the court during the session in the sunshine this morning
Victory! The Duchess of Cambridge reacted with joy as she played with British US Open Champion Emma during the event
To celebrate the success of the British US Open champions, the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) is inviting the nation to come together for a special ‘Homecoming’ event. Pictured, Kate and Emma on the tennis court
The Duchess of Cambridge was beaming as she played a match with the US Open champions during the homecoming event
The Duchess of Cambridge beamed at Emma as they took to the court today for the homecoming event in London
The royal, a keen tennis fan, also showed off her skills as she played alongside Joe Salisbury during the session
Before the thirty-minute show, which will be broadcast live today at 12:30pm on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport online as well as the LTA’s social media channels, Emma (pictured left), 18, chatted with keen tennis fan Kate, who is patron of the LTA
The duchess joined the homecoming celebration, hosted by the LTA Youth programme, in which the four champions, as well as the royal, were on court alongside children taking part in the scheme.
The LTA youth initiative is an innovative programme aimed at inspiring the next generation of players aged 4-18, as well as helping more children enjoy the benefits of playing and staying in tennis, whatever their age, gender, ability or background.
Sitting down to meet with the US Open champions, Kate gushed: ‘Amazing guys, honestly. Congratulations. Seriously impressive. It’s been so nice for all of you to come back here in your home country to celebrate back home.’
Kate is a keen tennis supporter and congratulated Emma on her historic win at the US Open earlier this month in New York, after writing a personal Tweet of support in which she signed off with a ‘C’.
The royal mother-of-three is often seen at Wimbledon; this year she was all-smiles when watching the women’s final, which saw Australian contender Ash Barty win over Czech player Karolina Pliskova at Centre Court.
Alongside the tennis court appearances, the event included a live Q&A and a host of tennis activities – giving fans and players of all ages an opportunity to get to know their sporting heroes and hoping to inspire a new wave of players to start their tennis journey.
Emma and Kate clearly enjoyed each other’s company as they took to the court at the National Tennis Centre in London
The Duchess of Cambridge and the teenager tennis sensation chatted happily together during their match
Oh dear! Kate looked less than impressed with herself during one portion of the match, and placed her hand on her head
Kate (pictured left), 39, who has returned to work following her annual summer break, looked appropriately sporty in a blue tennis skirt and matching zip-up jacket for the visit at the National Tennis Centre in London
Before the group picked up their rackets the duchess (pictured playing with Emma) told the champions: ‘Amazing guys, honestly, congratulations to all of you – it’s seriously impressive.’
The professional! Emma appeared to be taking the game seriously as she brandished her racket while playing with Kate
Sharing a smile: Kate couldn’t help but keep the grin on her face while playing with Emma, who looked equally pleased
Kate and Emma worked together against other players such as Britain’s tennis stars Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid, who won the men’s wheelchair doubles, and men’s doubles champion Joe Salisbury
Great team work! The royal mother-of-three shared a laugh with the British US Open champion as they played tennis together
The Duchess of Cambridge talked to British US Open champions Emma and Gordon Reid as they returned to the LTA’s National Tennis Centre for The Homecoming and to celebrate their success
Taking part and joining in! It appeared Kate and Emma worked well as a team as they jointly tried to win the game of tennis
Elsewhere, the Duchess of Cambridge, in her role as patron of the LTA, chatted to a group of children on the orginsation’s Youth programme
Kate has returned to work following her summer break with her husband Prince William, 39, and their three children Prince George, eight, Princess Charlotte, six, and Prince Louis, three. Pictured, the duchess speaks with children attending today’s celebration
Emma defeated Leylah Fernandez 6-4 6-3 at Arthur Ashe Stadium earlier this month to become Great Britain’s first female grand slam winner in 44 years.
It was only Raducanu’s second appearance at a major and the new world number 23 has made headlines across the globe, appeared on various TV channels in the United States and also attended the Met Gala last Monday in a monochrome Chanel ensemble.
After competing at Wimbledon this summer, Emma who is an LTA Youth Ambassador visited her old primary school in Bromley to inspire more young people to play the sport.
On visiting her primary school, Emma said: ‘Being back here does make me want to do more because seeing their inspired and excited faces when I walk in spurs me on. I can’t let them down and I want to keep pushing on in my own career. Hopefully they can get into tennis as well if they watch me.’
Emma (pictured) defeated Leylah Fernandez 6-4 6-3 at Arthur Ashe Stadium earlier this month to become Great Britain’s first female grand slam winner in 44 years
Teenage tennis sensation Emma and Joe Salisbury in action as they return to the LTA’s National Tennis Centre for the Homecoming today
What a pro! Emma made her tennis skills look effortless as she joined in the matches alongside the duchess and then tennis star Joe Salisbury
Playing doubles at the National Tennis Centre, Kate and Emma teamed up for their first matches, before swapping to opposite sides of the court. Pictured, Emma teamed up with Joe Salisbury
Can’t stop smiling! Emma appeared to be in a great mood and in top form as she attended the homecoming event in London
Less game, more chat: The duchess and British US Open Champion took a moment to talk with one another when at the event
Taking it all in: The two women appeared to enjoy their discussion together as they paused their game at the homecoming
They mean business! Kate and Emma looked ready to play following their chat, with the duo seemingly determined to win
All in! The duchess Kate appeared to try her hardest when attending the event, brandishing a racket while in her on-point tennis kit
In the presence of a champion! The duchess appeared in awe as she watched 18-year-old Emma showcase her tennis skills
She added: ‘Tennis is an unbelievable sport, it gives you so many opportunities and is so fun. It would be great for more kids to pick up a racket and try it. LTA Youth courses are a perfect way for everyone to get started.’
In 2018, Emma joined the LTA’s Pro Scholarship Programme to give her the support that she needed including coaching, access to science and medical services and wildcards to tournaments.
Emma has been competing in LTA competitions since aged seven starting out as a regular on the circuit of local and regional LTA tournaments across the south of England.
The tennis star, who only completed her A-levels earlier in the summer, achieving A* in mathematics and an A in economics at Newstead Wood School in Orpington, has been on a whirlwind ride since her historic win.
Emma already has a clothing and shoe deal with Nike, a racquet tie-up with Wilson and she appears in the current edition of Vogue magazine. Most recently, she was revealed as Tiffany & Co.’s newest ambassador in a deal estimated to be worth more than £2million.
The duchess (pictured right) joined the homecoming celebration, hosted by the LTA Youth programme, in which four champions were on court alongside children taking part in the scheme
The Duchess of Cambridge meets British US Open Champions Emma Raducanu, Joe Salisbury (back row left) , Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett (front row left)
The LTA youth initiative is an innovative programme aimed at inspiring the next generation of players aged 4-18, as well as helping more children enjoy the benefits of playing and staying in tennis, whatever their age, gender, ability, disability or background. Pictured, the duchess at the event
She announced on Instagram earlier this week that she had been named House Ambassador for Tiffany & Co., meaning she will support the brand by wearing its pieces.
The tennis star wrote: ‘Very excited to join the iconic @tiffanyandco family as a House Ambassador. Being able to wear these special jewellery pieces over the past few weeks has been an honour!’
According to popular culture and brand expert Nick Ede, Emma’s new Tiffany and Co. deal is likely to be worth over £2million.
‘As LVMH have taken over the brand they are looking to attract a new audience and Emma is the perfect person for this,’ he added. ‘She exudes elegance and style but has an edge that will appeal to a new demographic, while not alienating the existing one.’
Emma has been heralded as a ‘sponsor’s dream’ and is on course to become the highest earning female sports star of all time. It was also reported that she laid the groundwork for her potential earnings aged 17, registering Harbour 6 Limited to manage her finances.